Main Squeeze Records
11 songs – 51 minutes
Born in Detroit, schooled in Queens and now residing in San Diego, Missy Andersen released her first, self-titled, album in 2009. Her sophomore effort, In The Moment, features 11 tracks of blues and soul, played and sung with panache, passion and irresistible rhythms. The result is a seriously fine party album.
The opening track, “Rent Party”, sets the tone for the record, coming out swinging with an upbeat, foot-tapping groove and a lovely, brief T-Bone-esque solo from guitarist, Heine “The Great Dane” Andersen, before Missy Andersen (yes, the Andersens are husband and wife) tells us “They had a party going on uptown; don’t look back and everybody got down. I heard somebody say ‘Now what’s the affair?’ I don’t know and I don’t really care. I’m having a good time. The next one is my rent party.”
This is immediately followed by the urgent drum-led strut of “Whole Lotta Nuthin’” and the minor key “Night Stalker” that sounds during the verses like a distant relative of Peggy Lee’s “Fever”, before the upbeat chorus kicks in with Andersen singing “I am a night stalker, and I ain’t ashamed. I am an alley walker and you’re to blame. I’m a shadow creeping, window peeping, safe cracking, GPS tracker. I know, I know, I know how to catch a cheat.”
The album comprises eight originals and three well-chosen covers and the band is impressively tight-but-loose throughout. In addition to guitarist and band-leader, Heine Andersen, it features Marty Dodson (drums), Bill Stuve and Michael McKinnon (bass), Ben Moore (Hammond B-3), Sue Palmer (piano), Christopher Hoffee (percussion), Robbie Smith (trumpet), Gerard Nolan (tenor sax), Bob Mathes (baritone sax) and Sonja Mack and Karen Trapane (backing vocals – especially good on “Night Stalker”). There are also guest appearances by the superb Nathan James and James Harman on guitar and harp on “Better Or Worse”. Nathan James also adds guitar to “Reach Out”.
All of the musicians contribute fully to the music. Moore’s organ provides subtle support on the soul ballads of “More Than Enough” and “No Regrets” and great solos on “Whole Lotta Nuthin’” and “Same Things Make You Laugh Will Make You Cry.” Heine Andersen produces some lovely guitar solos, especially on the jazzy blues of “Ladies Shoes” (written by pianist Sue Palmer) and the Ford Eaglin classic “I’ve Been Walkin’”, which also features a superb gospel introduction with just guitar and voice.
But it is Andersen’s voice that is the centrepiece of the album. It is a magnificent instrument, which she deploys with subtlety, emotion and, when required, no little power. Andersen likens her musical approach to “soul dipped in blues”. It would be equally accurate to describe it as “blues dipped in soul”. Both genres seep through every note she sings, with strong hints of gospel and R’n’B as well.
In The Moment is a seriously impressive, highly enjoyable outing. If you like horn-laden blues mixed in with a lot of soul, you will love this release.